Hallooo, sailors! The Beer Skipper is back to enlighten your feeble minds and push the best of craft beers into your trembling hands . . . er, by the way, wrong finger, seaman. That’s not the thumb’s-up sign, mate . . . Hey! That better be an accident, or we’ll be bringing back the cat o’ nine tails on this vessel!
Ah, whatever. Your captain’s in a very mellow mood tonight because he’s discovered Murfreesboro’s finest home-grown!
No, you “hippie hashheads,” not that “good green ganja!” nor the “fine doobage” and “NoCal Sinsemilla” all you “Dime-Bag Darrells” crave! Tack that boat around to the legal side, mate. I’m talking great homebrewed beer!
Yes, I’m talking about the homebrews crafted by one of the most dedicated groups in the world: the Mid-State Brew Crew (msbrewcrew.org).
These are the guys and gals who meet at Liquid Smoke the first Saturday of each month at 3 p.m. to talk about beer, learn about making beer, and, of course, taste incredible samples of homemade beer.
The leader of this association is Mike Semich, who–when not developing Web sites in Nashville–is crafting “Bulldozer,” a big beer similar to Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, as well as chocolate espresso stouts, oatmeal ales and “hoppy” pale ales.
But don’t be intimidated by Mr. Semich’s skills. As he notes, the Mid-State Brew Crew is a pretty loose group for anyone who just enjoys fine lagers, ales, barley wines and even meads (that’s all fine beer and similar stuff, not “Fatty Acapulcos,” you degenerate “crunksters”!)
The MSBC is “a support group for our expensive habit,” quips Semich. And he notes that previous brew-making experience isn’t a prerequisite to coming, listening, learning and tasting!
“Don’t be pushed away by not having brewed or having had a bad experience several years ago while doing it,” says Semich. “Whatever you’ve done, we’ve screwed up worse!”
If nothing else, the MSBC is a must-stop for every ale-lover in the area just for the tastings. No meeting is done without at least a dozen samples of the Mid-State’s finest homebrews passed around, free of charge, to anyone eager to taste fine beer (and “bud” is not on the menu, “Cheech”!)
Anyway, take the Skipper’s challenge and go drink a few with the MSBC. Now, you must leave the Skipper alone. I’ve just got back from Maui with me mistress, Mary Jane, and this hophead is going to enjoy a few Hazed and Infused (Boulder Beer?available at Liquid Smoke and other fine area outlets) while I smoke this fine Philly Blunt, eat brownies and plot my course to Amsterdam. Adios, amigos!
The Beer Skipper, a.k.a. John Cummins, is a Murfreesboro resident, a founder of the Middle Tennessee Home Brew Club and captain of the Nashville Brews Cruise. He claims to be the ultimate authority on all things pertaining to beer, but tolerates the few who may disagree with him. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.